Three free events highlight this week at Fairfield

Submitted by Meredith Guinness, Assistant Director, Media Relations on March 30, 2012

Fairfield University welcomes chances to engage with the greater Fairfield community through arts and cultural Image: Patricia Behre, and the week of April 8 holds plenty of interesting opportunities for local residents, many of which are free.

Take a late lunch on Thursday, April 12 and stop by the Fairfield University Bookstore downtown for a free, public discussion with Patricia Behre, Ph.D., associate professor of history. At 1:30 p.m., Dr. Behre will present a talk on Thomas Paine as part of the University’s Learning for a Lifetime Program. This English-born figure played a pivotal role in the American Revolution as the author of Common Sense and the immortal lines George Washington would eventually read to his troops: “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

Dr. Behre will consider Paine’s controversial religious beliefs, as well as his political philosophy against the backdrop of two revolutions. Join us!

For the ancient Chinese, life in the afterworld was as important as one’s existence on earth. For this reason, Image: Chinese funerary artthe dead were laid to rest in tombs provisioned with mingqi, or “spirit articles,” for the deceased’s journey into the afterlife. Visitors to Fairfield’s Bellarmine Museum of Art can get an up-close look at these fascinating objects in “Immortality of the Spirit: Chinese Funerary Art from the Han and Tang Dynasties,” a new exhibit opening Thursday, April 12.

The pieces are drawn from the collection of Jane and Leopold Swergold and feature 13 examples of pottery of the era (206 BCE-220 CE and 618-907 CE).

This exhibition begins with a free public opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 12 and runs through Wednesday, June 6. For more information, visit the museum’s website.

Art lovers can take in SoloCollective, Fairfield’s Studio Art Junior/Senior Seminar exhibition, also opening Thursday, April 12, but in the Walsh Art Gallery in the Quick Center for the Arts. A free, public reception is planned for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the exhibition will run through Saturday, May 19.

Nine emerging artists are featured in this collection, which includes painting, photography, fabric work and installations. “The Walsh Gallery is known for showing contemporary art from around the world; however, it is an important art space for young and emerging artists, too,” said Gary Wood, Quick Center executive director.

The Thomas J. Walsh Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is also open prior to scheduled performances.

Opera fans can revel in another lavish production and some of the world’s finest voices at the next broadcast Image: La Traviatafrom the Metropolitan Opera, which brings live and encore performances in HD to the Quick Center screen. Next up? Giuseppe Verdi’s beloved La Traviata, which will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 14. An encore broadcast is scheduled for 6 p.m. that evening. Limited tickets are still available.

This is the last live broadcast of the Met’s stellar 2011-12 season, but music lovers can bask in the glow of the world’s most monumental operatic achievement this May when the Met re-broadcasts all four installments of Wagner’s astounding Ring cycle. This special week of music begins with the new ‘making of’ documentary, Wagner’s Dream, on Thursday, May 17 and continues with each opera in the cycle through Wednesday, May 23. For more information, visit the Met’s new Ring micro-site and buy your tickets today!


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